Five key ingredients of all projects
Local Contribution: The community benefiting from this project must contribute or raise at least 25% of the total cost. To date, the average local contribution has been more than 66%, a large portion being community members’ sweat equity in the project. Communities may also assess monthly maintenance fees and raise other funds to support the project.
Sustainability: Each project must demonstrate that it is sustainable. The water projects, for example, require household assessments toward a maintenance and replacement reserve fund. Health and sanitation projects also include a community health education component.
Donor Contributions: Two Returned Dominican Republic Peace Corps Volunteers and their family members provided seed money for this fund, almost $130,000, as a match for all donations up to that amount.The full match was met by large and small donations from individuals and families throughout the U.S. and a sustainable fund was created to assure that the program could continue to provide assistance indefinitely. Through conservative, low-risk investments, this fund generally generate enough income through interest to award five $3,000 grants annually for an indefinite period of time.
However, the need in the Dominican Republic is so great that FDR has set a goal of funding 10 projects a year. Therefore additional donations are needed to meet this need.
Peace Corps Volunteers: Peace Corps Volunteers are key to the successful delivery of CCF support to local communities. Volunteers work with community leaders to define, plan, and implement projects. They oversee the allocated funds, assuring they are used for intended purposes. They also work with the community to assess the results of the project and provide photos and a final report.
How the fund works
Peace Corps Volunteers work with local community leaders to identify needs and priorities. The Volunteer then works with the community to plan and organize the project, calling in Peace Corps technical staff as needed (for example to test water quality). If found to be feasible, the project is planned and local funding is committed. An application for CCF funding for up to $2,500 per grant is prepared and reviewed by a Peace Corps staff/Volunteer committee. Carefully planned, high-need projects are recommended to the Peace Corps Country Director and the Director recommends projects to the Community Challenge Fund. The CCF Project Committee reviews and approves projects, which meet the program criteria. Once approved, funds are released to Peace Corps Dominican Republic and eventually to the Volunteer to purchase materials. The Volunteer assists the community during construction, monitors the project and funds, and provides a final report on the project.
How you can help
The Community Challenge Fund is a sustainable fund that, through low-risk investments, is able to fund about five projects a year. The need is much greater and our goal address a larger need by funding 10 projects yearly. Your contribution is essential.
Due to in-kind administrative donations, 100% of contributions designated to the Community Challenge Fund goes directly to project costs (materials and technical labor). Your gift large or small goes a long way.
Make a gift today!
The Friends of the Dominican Republic is a 501(c)(3) organization and your contribution is tax deductible.